‘You might stumble, but that’s OK’: Homeowner stays resilient beyond Clarifi

Five years ago, Jovon and her family were renting income-based properties in Philadelphia. Typically, that meant when Jovon got a raise, her rent also went up. And with routine home inspections, she never felt relaxed in her own space.

“I got tired of them coming to my home,” Jovon said. “At some point it’s like, if I can afford to pay $1,200 for rent, I might as well pay $1,200 for my mortgage.”

She heard about Clarifi through her job, set up an appointment, and went over her goals and budget with her counselor.

At Clarifi, Jovon learned how to save for homeownership and take actionable steps toward that milestone. She had a good credit score but needed to pay down her credit card and make some financial sacrifices, namely going out most weekends and ordering takeout—lessons she applies to this day.

If you can afford $1,200 for rent, you can afford to live on your own, and have it be your own.

Jovon, Clarifi client

Six months after her first Clarifi appointment—and touring more than a dozen properties—Jovon turned the key to her first home, a rowhouse on a family-friendly block in Clifton Heights.

“Five years later, here I am,” Jovon said, sitting in her living room.

She’s comfortable in her home, which she renovated to make her own, as well as with her finances. That doesn’t mean Jovon never stumbles, but her bills always get paid.

“I know a lot of us, we feel like, because we have these children, we have these bills, how would I be able to save my money?” Jovon said. “That’s where Clarifi comes in. If you sacrifice and discipline yourself, you will be able to save.”

Jovon bought her first home six months after working with a Clarifi counselor on her savings and budget.

Her advice for Clarifi clients: Even if you don’t see the results at first, keep going to counseling sessions, speak to your counselor often, follow your action plan, and stay disciplined.

That’s what I like about Clarifi: They’re available. They always say, “Make sure you stay connected.”

Jovon, Clarifi client

Jovon is now working toward becoming a licensed notary, and eventually, an agent with her own business. She loves working with people, especially when she helps them better their financial situation.

In the meantime, she recommends Clarifi to family, friends and anyone who asks about homeownership steps and financial education. And she still uses Clarifi’s financial tools and knowledge to achieve her goals.

“When I come in the door, I want to feel comfortable. And because of the sacrifice and discipline that I have endured, that’s how I feel,” Jovon said. “I feel at home. I feel at peace.”